Very highly regarded UK consumer motoring publication What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) as its 2019 Car of the Year during its 42nd annual awards ceremony in London last night.
The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the prestigious overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award.
Victory for the e-Niro, which has a ‘Real Range’ of 253 miles (or 407 Kilometres), also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony.
The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said at the awards ceremony “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.
“Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.
“The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership. Here is a spacious and practical family SUV that demands very few compromises.”
As well as taking home the main accolade at the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, the Kia e-Niro was also named ‘Electric Car of the Year’.
Hyundai joined Kia in being recognised for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the Technology Award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.
The 2019 What Car? Awards saw the introduction of three new categories, recognising the best models in the Plug-in Hybrid, Sports SUV and Pick-up markets. These awards were won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Seat Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.
Last year’s overall winner, the Volvo XC40, returned to be named Family SUV of the Year for a second year running, while the Skoda Octavia continued its run of success in the Family car category, and the Peugeot 5008 reclaimed the crown for the best Large SUV.
Reflecting the diverse range of cars available, the Performance and Sports Car category was split for 2019, broadening the range of eligible vehicles. The new Sports Car Award went to the Alpine A110, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was named Performance Car of the Year.
Kia is the 20th car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award since its inception in 1978.
In addition to the winners chosen by the What Car?’s experts, What Car? readers were once again given the chance to have their say on the car they are most looking forward to seeing launched in 2019, with the Honda Urban EV coming out on top.
WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2019 WINNERS LIST
WINNER – Kia Picanto
WINNER – Volkswagen Polo
WINNER – Skoda Octavia
SMALL SUV – SPONSORED BY CAP HPI
WINNER – Seat Arona
FAMILY SUV – SPONSORED BY NOCO
WINNER – Volvo XC40
WINNER – Peugeot 5008
WINNER – Audi Q7
WINNER – Citroën Berlingo
WINNER – Skoda Superb Estate
HOT HATCH – SPONSORED BY WARRANTY DIRECT AND BNP PARIBAS CARDIF
WINNER – Honda Civic Type R
WINNER – Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet
WINNER – Audi A5 Coupe
WINNER – Alpine A110
WINNER – Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
WINNER – Cupra Ateca
WINNER – Kia e-Niro
WINNER – Hyundai Ioniq
PLUG IN HYBRID
WINNER – Volvo XC90 T8
WINNER – BMW 3 Series
WINNER – Volkswagen Amarok
WINNER – BMW 5 Series
READER AWARD –
WINNER – Honda Urban EV
SAFETY AWARD –
WINNER – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
WINNER – Hyundai
CAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER – Kia e-Niro